EXCLUSIVE – Republican lawmakers are demanding a Department of Education investigation into federally funded universities that nominated students to a Google-sponsored fellowship program based on race, ethnicity and disability status.
Representatives Chip Roy, R-Texas., Mary Miller, R-Il., and Bob Good, R-Va. asked Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to analyze whether federal anti-discrimination laws apply to government-funded universities that participated in a Google-sponsored fellowship that restricted White and Asian students from the program.
The now-deleted webpage for the fellowship stated that if more than two students are nominated for the fellowship by their university, ‘additional nominees must self-identify as a woman, Black/African American, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latinx, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and/or person with a disability.’
The Republican lawmakers said the Google fellowship imposed ‘unconstitutional race and sex diversity quotes’ on schools, and said the Department of Education must explain whether participation in this program amounts to a violation of the Civil Rights Act.
‘Any federally funded university that changed their nominating criteria to meet Google’s discriminatory and harmful rules unjustly stripped hard-working and talented students of the opportunity to even be considered for one of the most valuable fellowships in the STEM world, solely because of their race, sex, or disability status,’ the letter said. ‘The American people deserve answers and transparency, and every gifted STEM student at a taxpayer-funded university deserves a level playing field.’
Lawmakers asked the department to explain whether it believes adhering to Google’s ‘diversity quota’ violates the Civil Rights Act, but made it clear they believe a violation has taken place.
‘We urge you to immediately launch a formal investigation into any and all federally funded U.S. universities that nominated students for the Google Ph.D. Fellowship since April 2020, probing their use of unconstitutional diversity quotas in the nomination process,’ the letter said. It added that the policy may also violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits racial discrimination from colleges that receives federal funds regardless of if the program is sponsored by an educational institution.
The fellowship program works with an extensive list of participating elite universities: Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Princeton, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia, Cornell, Duke, Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of California Berkeley, and New York University.
In a statement to Fox News Digital, Roy said the Google fellowship was shocking to him even after consistent race baiting from universities.
‘On its face, it looks like an obvious violation of both federal laws and America’s founding ideals, and it warrants a searching and fearless investigation as a minimum starting point,’ he said. ‘Enough of the sordid business of dividing us up by race; it’s high time Congress took America’s woke universities to task and brought their ivory towers of tyranny to the ground.’
The Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment.